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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Lotus scoparius (Common deerweed)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Lotus scoparius

Lotus scoparius (Nutt.) Ottley

Common Deerweed, Deerweed

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: LOSC2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The bunched, erect, tough, green stems have small, pinnately compound leaves and 1-4 yellow "pea flowers" in clusters in the upper leaf axils.

This is one of the many species of flowering plants that thrive after fire has ravaged chaparral-covered slopes. It vigorously persists for several years, although it is choked out of most areas by the thick brush that eventually returns. By taking advantage of the open habitat and quickly covering exposed slopes, it helps reduce erosion, which would be far greater if the soil depended for cover on the slower-growing brush. Like most other members of the Pea Family, it has the capacity to enrich the soil with nitrogen.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: Most of California to northern Baja California.
Native Habitat: Dry brushy slopes.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Coastal Green Hairstreak
(Callophrys dumetorum)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Avalon Scrub-Hairstreak
(Strymon avalona)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Afranius Duskywing
(Erynnis afranius)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lotus scoparius in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lotus scoparius in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lotus scoparius


Record Modified: 2008-04-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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